Battery Charging Facility Safety Guidelines
Battery Charging Small Facility Safety Guidelines
Always match the battery charger to the charging requirements of the specific battery. Failure to do so may result in permanent damage to the battery and charger and cause injury.
Excessive or over rapid charging may result in overheating of the batteries, opening of internal non-resetable thermal fuses, deformation of the battery case, venting or leakage of the battery electrolyte through the pressure vent and/or the release of hydrogen gas.
Care must be taken to separate Nickel-Cadmium and Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries from Lead-Acid batteries. Rechargeable batteries must always be separated from non-rechargeable batteries.
When setting up a charging facility for more than one charger in a single area, exhaust ventilation must be provided. The tightness of the facility, the amount of open air space, and the number of chargers will determine whether natural draft ventilation is sufficient or whether forced draft ventilation is required. For example, charging batteries in a tent would merely require opening two or more tent flaps for cross ventilation. On the other hand, charging in a closed small shelter would require forced draft exhaust ventilations. Exhaust ports should always be placed high as Hydrogen gas rises.
Larger facilities should maintain Personal Protective Equipment including goggles, protective gloves, and an apron in the unlikely event of having to handle leaking batteries. An eyewash fountain should be available in the vicinity. Lacking these items, provision must be made to access immediate medical assistance.
Mobile Charging Facilities Safety Guidelines
Note: Nickel-Metal Hydride, and Lithium Ion batteries MUST NOT be charged or serviced in the same area as Lead-Acid batteries. Mixing alkaline electrolytes with acid electrolyte can have explosive results.
Primary (non-rechargeable) batteries must be kept separate from Secondary (rechargeable) batteries.
A local Standard Operating Procedure must be developed for all facilities. Obtain Manufacturers Safety Data Sheets for all batteries being charged.
Safety Equipment Required:
Personal Protective Equipment Required:
Note: Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal Hydride, and Lead-Acid Batteries can all liberate Hydrogen Gas if overcharged. This lighter than air gas is extremely flammable. Smoking is never permitted in the charging area.
Lead-Acid Batteries contain Sulfuric Acid which is corrosive and can burn the skin. If any of the electrolyte comes in contact with the skin wash with soap and water. Seek medical attention if burning persists. If the electrolyte gets into the eye, was with copius amounts of water and seek immediate medical attention. Leaking batteries must always be handled with chemical resistant gloves.
Drinking, eating, smoking, chewing tobacco or gum, applying cosmetics, etc. are not permitted in the area when handling or charging batteries.
Operational and Design Considerations:
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